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Man reportedly "clowning around" on escalator falls to death at mall, police say

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- A man who was apparently "clowning around" and riding an escalator rail lost his balance and fell to his death at a Rhode Island mall. CBS affiliate WPRI-TV reports that the 45-year-old from Pawtucket fell from the upper level to the food court area around 10:45 p.m. Monday and suffered severe head trauma.

A witness reported seeing the man "clowning around and riding the rail of the escalator," according to a police report.

The witness said the man reached the downward slope of the handrail at Providence Place mall, fell backward off the rail and hit his head on a table in the food court below.

Providence Police Chief Hugh Clements told local media that the victim suffered "massive injuries" and was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Police say there's no indication the victim intentionally jumped or was pushed. They will review surveillance video.

The man's identity wasn't immediately released pending notification of his family.

There have been a handful of deaths at the mall since it opened in 1999, including other people falling from escalators. A man died in 2006 after he jumped between escalators and fell.

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